STILL CHANCE TO BOOK: for the Livery Climate Action Group in person Conference on Monday 4th July at Merchant Taylors’ Hall. This will give all aspiring Livery members lots of useful information and contacts to start looking at the need to reduce carbon emissions and green our City. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lcag-annual-conference-tickets-330660052117
Old Bailey news
As you will be aware the Sheriffs have been using temporary offices at the Old Bailey but the weekend of 18/19th June saw the apartments ready for our use. I just had to unpack the boxes that have accumulated items over the first 9 months. They are air conditioned and spacious and will make the job a bit easier with more meeting space as well. Thanks to a great team from the City Surveyor’s Department and Mansion House for speeding the work.
One of the longest serving female judges retired earlier this year and promptly published a book! This is a really great read for an insight into the work of the Old Bailey and criminal trials. HHJ Wendy Joseph QC held the book launch at the Bailey and sales were brisk. It was very well reviewed in The Times https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/unlawful-killings-by-wendy-joseph-the-inside-story-of-six-murder-trials-l9kkrnlsf
Some of you might have enjoyed Anatomy of a Scandal on Netflix and, yes, some of the general scenes were filmed at the Old Bailey, but not in the court room which was a mockup. Filming in the common areas, such as the Grand Hall, takes place at weekends and brings in some useful income.
The new Sheriffs to take office on 28th September were elected at Common Hall on 24th June. Alderman Alastair King and Andrew Marsden made a very good outing in their acceptance speeches in Guildhall. All good wishes to them as they plan their year ahead.
My business plan initiatives
In one week of June two of my long-planned events took place both using the wonderful Old Bailey Grand Hall as a venue to discuss some weighty matters.
On June 14 the Solicitors and Insurers Livery Companies held a joint dinner in their Food for Thought with Food series. The topic of how professionals address issues of environmental risk and the role of values and ethics in advising clients threw up some interesting discussions around the tables. A full note of the event is available here with follow up points highlighted. https://www.citysolicitors.org/news/news/sustainability+dinner+-+report+of+key+themes
In the same week, on June 16, the award-winning group Next 100 Years held the Heilbron Lecture in the Grand Hall of the Old Bailey. It was entitled "Climate Change and the radical potential of outrage to advance the frontiers of Law". It was given by Prof Lavanya Rajamani and former President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale, gave the response. https://next100years.org.uk/lecture-series/
Hilary Lindsay, Past Master Chartered Accountant, has been leading the Livery Charity Chairs Group that aims to help Livery Companies better operate their charitable interests. She has run a series of virtual events for her 60 or so members. The in-person conference took place on June 6th at Ironmongers’ Hall and an important topic that I led was to discuss Environmental Social and Governance issues for investments.
Speaking with Eoin Murray and Stephen Beer we provided a comprehensive insight and answered questions. The whole day’s proceeding are very well summarised here. https://www.liverycommittee.org/the-livery-charity-chairs-group-first-annual-conference/
The spectacular Beckett Pageant finally took place after Covid delays for two years. The musical play London’s Turbulent Son written by Past Master Skinner Emmeline Winterbotham was sensational with professional finish but rooted in the Livery and City story. My own Ward business Nomura helped out with rehearsal space and in true The Sound of Music fashion provided some old curtains to be used for costumes. The Livery Fair attracted a lot of interest and the Glovers’ Livery and Saddlers shared the fun.
Treloar School set up by a former Lord Mayor in 1907 retains a strong link to the Livery and City. I was honoured to lead the Civic team on the annual visit by Livery Masters to Treloar School. I was particularly delighted to meet Oscar Anderson who is a Student Governor and was awarded an MBE in the birthday honours for services to global Disability Activism and Healthcare Reform. He was one of so many remarkable young people who are given every opportunity to contribute to a better world for themselves and others.
On tour. The annual weekend away of the Livery Masters was held in Sheffield this year with the expert and generous hosting by James Tear the Master and the Cutlers of Hallamshire. On the Saturday the Masters visited Sheffield at its best with its glorious industrial past, present silversmiths and future innovative technology all on show.
The Sheriffs enjoyed the train journeys with many others letting the train take the strain.
Wider City matters
The Lord Mayor and Sheriffs make an annual visit to the three wholesale markets and a trip to Spitalfields is always colourful with a great array of interesting fruit and veg. As an Alderman I am a member of the Markets Board that oversees the markets and the Chair is Deputy Henry Pollard who is my Deputy in Dowgate Ward. Spitalfields had thrived during Covid and traders were now working towards the plan to consolidate all three markets at a new site at the former Barking Power Station under the City Corporation’s Masterplan.
Another annual event is the Lord Mayor’s dinner to celebrate London Government. It was held a little later this year on 30th May and provides an opportunity for the Lord Mayor and the Mayor of London to speak about current issues.
The Lord Mayor’s speech is here: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/assets/About-us/london-government-dinner-speech.pdf
I was pleased to attend the first in person event at St Paul’s Cathedral outside of services. In their series of Recovering Well after the Pandemic, the evening’s discussion took the theme of How can London be a place of flourishing for all people – culturally, economically, justly - as we move forwards from the pandemic? I was pleased to say a few words alongside the Bishop and Peter Hugh Smith the CEO of CCLA. They have published a report about businesses and mental well-being and aim to provide a benchmark of good practice around this topic. https://www.ccla.co.uk/documents/2022-mental-health-benchmark-uk-100-report/download?inline
I am particularly interested in this topic as a member of the Expert Advisory Group of the City Wellbeing Centre that offers greater access to therapeutic mental health treatments in the Central Boroughs. https://www.fis.cityoflondon.gov.uk/directory/city-wellbeing-centre
6th June 2022
The unique bonds between Her Majesty the Queen, the Monarchy and the City of London are very important and are based on the historical links and interplay of the City and Westminster over the centuries. This naturally leads to the celebrations of significant moments in the life of our Monarch being commemorated in the City of London.
From the moment that William the First in 1067 recognised that the City was unconquerable and decided to seek peace by Charter, the scene was set for the City to be a loyal subject but retaining its ancient customs and rights.
These were further enshrined in the Magna Carta in 1215 when the then Mayor of London (only in 1354 did the title Lord Mayor start to be used) was the only non-hereditary Baron to witness the sealing at Runnymede.
In more recent history the City celebrated Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and a flagstone marks the spot where her carriage sat during the celebratory service within St Paul’s Cathedral.
H M Queen Elizabeth II has attended many services at St Paul’s to mark her significant birthdays, anniversaries and Jubilees. In 2002, at the Golden Jubilee, the ceremonial acknowledgment at Temple Bar was re-enacted with then Lord Mayor Sir Michael Oliver. In 2012 the Diamond Jubilee, in conjunction with the Olympics, created a spectacular year of celebration.
In 2022 the unprecedented Platinum Jubilee was no exception with a multiplicity of special events planned. The City lit a Beacon as part of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons, hosted the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s and greeted The Queen’s Baton for the Commonwealth Games in Paternoster Square. Alongside this the Lord Mayor and others were involved in the wider celebrations at Buckingham Palace and in the Mall. In particular, many Livery Companies supported the spectacular Pageant that took place on Sunday 5th June.
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacon Thursday June 2nd
The Rotary Club of London with the City Livery Club arranged the lighting of a Platinum Jubilee Beacon on the rooftop garden of Nomura – the Japanese investment house based in my Ward of Dowgate. The evening included Bollywood dancers and a Duke of Edinburgh Award Winners fashion show. The Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr Arjoon Suddhoo, spoke of the Beacons flashing across the Commonwealth Nations. The Lord Mayor lit the beacon at 21.45 and the light shone out across the River and the City, part of a long line stretching the length of the UK. Photo © MikeWilliams.
St Paul’s Service of Thanksgiving Friday June 3rd
The meticulous detail involved in the service was proved to be perfect as the plans culminated in an operationally flawless event and deeply meaningful service. All the serving members of the Royal Family attended, bar Her Majesty. The Prime Minister and most of the Cabinet and Opposition as well as all living former Prime Ministers were in attendance. The Cathedral was full.
The protocol surrounding the relationship between the Lord Mayor and the Royal Family is steeped in centuries of custom and, when the Queen withdrew, some replanning took place. In the presence of the Queen the Lord Mayor carries the Pearl Sword that was presented to the Lord Mayor by Elizabeth I in 1571. Otherwise, the Sword of State is carried by the Swordbearer together with the Mace carried by the Common Cryer. The Lord Mayor wears velvet court dress with the Reception Robe of deep red velvet and an ermine cape. He also wore the Thomas More Chain of Ss with his badge of office.
The Lord Mayor with the Sheriffs arrived in the three Rolls Royces in state and with a blue light City of London Police escort from Mansion House to St Paul’s. The procession into the Cathedral formed quickly to pass into the Cathedral. The Lord Mayor remained at the entrance to greet all the members of the Royal Family on the steps of St Paul’s and then escorted the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall followed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to their seats.
The Service was full of amazing music and is still available on BBC iPlayer: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0017z7t/the-queens-platinum-jubilee-a-service-of-thanksgiving-no-commentary
A wonderful sermon, preached by the Archbishop of York, managed that tricky balance of purposeful and poignant with humour and affection: https://www.archbishopofyork.org/news/latest-news/sermon-st-pauls-cathedral-celebrating-her-majesty-queens-platinum-jubilee
Following the service, the celebration continued in a reception at the Guildhall. The Lord Mayor spoke of the greatest admiration for the unswerving dedication with which Her Majesty has fulfilled her exceptional role. He said that this remarkable commitment has been an inspiration to all those seeking to contribute to the welfare of the people of this country.
All the guests mingled and enjoyed some light refreshments and the chance to share a few reminiscences.
The Queen’s Baton for the Commonwealth Games 4th June
Birmingham is hosting the Commonwealth Games in July and The Queen’s Baton is making its way across 72 nations and territories. Arriving in Paternoster Square on Jubilee weekend meant we could party and promote sport in the sunny City square. With the Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston and Dame Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, the Lord Mayor greeted the baton relay.
The whole Square was filled with basketball, table tennis and cycling and many visitors. Wearing our scarlet gowns and badges it was tricky for the Lord Mayor and me to find our form in the basketball hoop challenge. Photo © MikeWilliams
Photographs within the Service and Reception were limited and so I (below) share some recent photos with the Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal and with the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, whom Sheriff Nick and I hosted at the reception in Guildhall.
God save the Queen!